Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat!

We dressed up Grayson as "Mummy's Little Pumpkin" for his first Halloween. He looked adorable as usual. He slept through most of it. We put him in the double stroller, and he passed out after about 30 minutes of walking around. We usually only do about 3 streets in our neighborhood, but this year, since the kids were behaving so well, and still walking on their own, without us carrying them, we continued and we ended up doing almost the entire neighborhood! It took about 2 hours all together.

Kaylee dressed up as her favorite singer, Hannah Montana for Halloween. I know, real original. But, it made her happy. She had a wig, but thankfully, it was NASTY and I didn't want to bother with trying to comb through that tangled mess, so since she already has blonde hair, I convinced her to let me put in her fake hair clips and make her hair look more natural and beautiful. She got many comments about her hair, people asking if it was her hair, or if it was a wig...etc. She was excited that I put REAL make up on her!

Brayden was Travis Barker for Halloween. Not that he knew who that even was, but it got a good laugh out of those who knew that he was the drummer of Blink 182. (He also recently suffered burns from a plane crash he was in). He had fun trick or treating. This was his first year to actually "get into" it. He had very nice manners. He said "Thank You" to each and every person who gave him candy. He also was not too afraid of the "weirdo's" or scary people he saw. He would just say "I don't like that boy"...even if it was just a mummy decoration, and not a real person.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The many faces of you......

Grayson was playing in his exersaucer today and I managed to capture a few GREAT photos of him and his many expressions. (I'll caption underneath them so you will know what he was babbling, er.... saying to me....hehehe)

(No, officer, I haven't had anything to drink tonight)

(Give me back my toy, Brayden)

(hhhmmm, you look tasty)

(Mom, see my toy?)

(Wait, that one looks like more fun, but then I'll have to let go of this one)

(hehehe, I am mischevious and my Mommy thinks I am innocent)

(No pictures, no pictures! Mommy, quit taking my picture, it's too bright!)

New house remodel pictures

OK, after 8 weeks, my kitchen remodel is FINALLY coming to an end. I see the end in the near future! Here are some updated progress pictures:

My fridge used to be here, but we added cabinets instead. Top and bottom cabinets are new. They still have to do the cabinet trimwork at the top and bottom.

My new fridge!!! Hehehe, We decided to go ahead and get a new fridge, counter depth, side by side, with the freezer on the bottom. It fits much better than our old side by side, and we put the old one out in the garage as a spare drink holder/freezer and got rid of our deep freeze chest, and little mini fridge that Chris used to put his beer in for poker night.

This is a shot of my long countertop, with the sink installed. Still have to hook up the faucet.

We finally got our countertops in! After the first visit, the guy measured wrong, so when the pieces came out last week, they didn't fit! WHAT? So, they had to re-make them on a rush order and they finally got installed Wednesday. I spent the day on the phone with the manager and the Home Depot district manager paid me a visit to the house also. I'm still fighting with them about getting some of my money returned since they have delayed my whole remodel. It took them a total of 6 weeks, not including the 2 week hurricane delay, and the guy who came out to measure was an egotistical, arrogant, rude, ass-hole! But, it's a Saturday story, so I'll save that till it's all over with. I will update after I get a figure from them on how much they want to refund! Tiffany is a BITCH when someone treats her badly, expecially someone who is "SUPPOSED" to be in the customer service field......

There is still sheetrock work to be done, and they are working on my tile backsplash today and tomorrow.

We have baseboards! Don't mind all the junk laying around. They just leave it out so they don't have to bring it back and forth every day.

This is our new eating surface. We have no more breakfast table. Just this bar, and 6 barstools.

Here is my sink! It's a 10 inch undermount sink. Yay!

We are hoping that the sheetrock, and texture will be done by this weekend so we can finish painting. Then, we just have to move everything back downstairs, and wipe down everything and give the whole downstairs a good scrubbin'. Hopefully, my next update will be completed pictures!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The New and Improved Star Spangled Banner

Kaylee came home from school and says : "Mommy, remember that song that we heard at the airshow this weekend? We sang it at school today!"

I reply....."hhhmmmm, I can't remember, sing it for me"

She begins to sing: "Oh say can you see......."

"......By the darcery door"

I cracked up laughing and remember that it was me who once confused Green Day's lyrics from "Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road" TO........ "Another turnip boy, a fork stuck in the road"

What the hell is a turnip boy anyways?

Thanks to my good friend Chrystee for pointing out how rediculous that actually sounded.....(wink..Love ya Chrystee!) She and Melissa sure got a good laugh about that one!! Glad I could entertain ya, girls!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Helmet Free is the Way to Be!

Grayson had his 2 checkups this week. On Monday, we went to the Dr for his 4 month well baby visit. He weighed 14 lbs and 14 oz and was 25" long! He grew 2" in one month! He got 3 shots and he did well. He cried for just a second and then calmed down quickly once he had a boob in his mouth.

His milestons have all been accomplished for the 4 month mark! He is grabbing toys, bringing fists together (and inserting in mouth), he rolls both ways and can spin around if he's on his back. He does his airplane when he is on his tummy and lifts his head up off the ground. He coos and "talks" to any woman who will look his way. (big flirt!) He has a big wide open mouth smile and shows it off regularly! He will be staring at someone, and when they finally look his way and acknowledge him, he gets so excited and smiles and squeals out of sheer joy! I have had MANY comments about how inquisitive he is! Uh-oh, that's the same way everyone described Kaylee! (for the record, he also fights his naps like she did too. He HATES going to sleep for fear he will miss something) He also KNOWS when Mommy is not within 5 feet of him and he lets anyone around know that she is missing!! He sleeps well for a 4 month old, although I wish, wish, wish that I could have a good 6 hour block of unbroken sleep. He did give me one night of good sleep from 11-6:30am (In his pack n play next to my bed!) and BOY did I feel refreshed that day, but alas, it did not become habit. The next night, he made up for it by waking 3 times in 2 hours because his pacifier fell out. I finally gave in and put the booby in his mouth and he was out like a light in 5 minutes. He wasn't hungry, he just needed Mommy.

So, then on Wednesday, he went to Tx Childrens for his follow-up with the neuro-surgeon! Dr Leurssen checked him out and gave us the OK to remove his helmet permanently! He said the bones are healing up nicely and the helmet has done it's job of protecting his head. Now that the bones are fusing the correct way, there is no need for the helmet to be worn. He was beginning to outgrow it also, so at that point, it was pointless for a new one to be made, since it wasn't really necessary anymore. So, after 5 weeks with it on, he is HELMET FREE!!! Aside from a little scar on his head, you would never guess he had surgery less than 3 months ago! I am so in love with my little man!

Hi, my name is Tiffany, and I am Directionally illiterate

For those of you who know me, or have ever driven with me, you know that I have absolutely NO sense of direction! My philosophy on directions is this:

As long as you are going straight, you are going NORTH. If you are in reverse, you are going SOUTH, and if you make a right or left turn, you are going EAST or WEST only until you complete the turn, and then you are going NORTH again, as long as you are going forward.

Yeah, it sounds absurd, it IS absurd! But, it's the truth! I have NO CLUE where I am going without landmarks to show me the way. Chris often jokes that in order to find my way somewhere new, I need a big cowboy statue with a blinking cowboy hat on, with his finger pointing in the direction that I need to go. He is probably right. I can tell you where certain stores are, I can tell you where freeways are, but I cannot tell you if I am driving N,E,S or W. I HAVE to be told LEFT or RIGHT in order to find my way. Oh, and telling me landmarks is EXTREMELY helpful! Forget downtown Houston where most streets are one way and I get all turned around! I refuse to drive downtown by myself. I would be that one idiot going the wrong way down a one way street.

When I am the one navigating, I have to turn the map upside down in order for the road I am currently on to be facing NORTH, the direction I am ALWAYS going. With each new turn, the map gets turned again and again, until I reach my destination. My dear wonderful husband, on the other hand, can be standing in the middle of the desert and he can tell you which side is E,W and so on, just by how the sun is facing! I am totally amazed by that! I can't even remember which side the sun rises on, and which side it sets on, I just know that is rises in our backyard and sets in our front yard.

So, on that note, Wednesday I had to drive to Tx Children's (BY MYSELF) for Grayson's followup appointment. This trip involves 1.5 hours of driving, and it involves 7 different freeways! My biggest accomplishment of the year (yes, it even surpassed childbirthing).........I DID NOT GET LOST! Now, this is not any small feat for me. I didn't have to use the key map, I didn't have to have a printed version of google directions, nor did I have to call Chris to ask him where I was or how to get out of there! I drove straight there, pulled right in to the clinic, parked my car, and drove home! Oh, and I even remembered to look (and remember) where I parked in the parking garage and found my way right back there too! Something else that my husband is usually in charge of! I amazed myself today! Never in a million years would I have told you that I could drive by myself to the medical center, navigating my way without a map! Oh, and did I mention that I was calm, cool, and collected the ENTIRE trip there and back? I felt like an old pro! I don't wish to do it again anytime soon, but finally after 15 years of driving, and over 20 years of living near Houston, I feel like I am learning my way around this crazy town!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Conference!!!

It's daughter is smart! I always knew this, but it was confirmed today. I had my first ever parent-teacher conference. Her Kindergarten teacher said she was a GREAT student! She knows all her letters and numbers. She knows all her shapes except for rectangle, and all her colors. She knew more sight words than the teacher has taught the class, thanks in part to her reading classes she already took. She can read level 1 and 2 books already. (The goal is level 5 by the end of the school year.) She can count all the way to 100, which is a goal for the end of the school year as well.

She said she was well beyond other children in the class. I am debating testing her for the gifted and talented classes at the end of the year. I don't want her to be bored in school. I want her to excel and always be challenged to learn more. But, I don't want her to feel stressed about being in the program, or make it a competition. So, we'll decide when the time comes.

But, she is a talker.....DUH! She has stayed on green all year so far, but she has almost had a color change the past few days because of her surprise there...I actually warned her teacher about her talking before school started this year.

So, my first conference experience was very pleasant, if I must say so. I am very proud of my little girl! She always amazes me with her abilities to soak up everything and is always learning new and different things daily. From the day she was born, she has been described as "inquisitive" and it has been true so far.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

More Remodel Pictures

We got a little bit of painting done. By "WE" I mean mostly Chris. I had a baby shower to go to. (hehe) I painted the dark color and Chris painted the rest while I was gone. My mother was gracious enough to watch my 2 older children over the weekend so we could get it done without any interruptions. (Thanks Mimi) We painted this odd shape part the darkest color (stone quarry) so it would be "accented".

We went and picked out new light fixtures and ceiling fans. Christopher installed the celing fan. (It even has a remote with a dimmer! I feel like a rich girl...hahaha)

Our back wall is also Stone Quarry, our accent color. Then, we have Potters Clay on the wall with the fireplace and the one next to it. (It looks darker, but it is the same color) Gobi Desert is the next color, but you can't see it in the pictures yet. It's our main color. They all match and coordinate with the tile. I love neutral colors, and they compliment each other very well.

Below is my kitchen light fixture that matches the ceiling fan.

Below is the light fixture that we replaced the cheap chandelier with. Also matches the ceiling fan.

So, tomorrow, we'll finish painting the Gobi Desert color, and start painting the kitchen. We also decided to buy a new fridge! YAY! I am such a nerd. I LOVE getting new appliances! We picked out a counter depth french door fridge with freezer on bottom in white! I can't wait to get it! We went shopping last weekend for 6 hours at 8 different stores, and finally found some 24" wrought iron barstools. They are swively too. I can't wait to sit down and eat a good homecooked meal, from my oven, at our new bar! I actually miss cooking. This microwave cooking every night is for the birds.....well, actually, birdseed is for the birds, but you know what I mean.......

Friday, October 10, 2008

"Fenominal", Angelical, Emotional Friday

I met an angel today! No, really, I did! This woman was sent down from Heaven directly to Chic-Fil-A at the same time I walked through the door. Let me rewind a little bit......

Since Grayson's surgery, many people have come up to me and tried to "relate" to him wearing a helmet. There are different reasons children wear helmets. Most helmet babies have plagiocephaly (flat spots) and the helmet reshapes the head to round out the flat spot. Oh, I wish that was all Grayson had to go through! I get comments all the time like "oh, my baby had to wear a helmet too" or "someone I know had a kid who had to wear a helmet". Yeah, SOO NOT THE SAME THING! My bitchy response would be "really, did they have to go through surgery and be cut open from ear to ear to have strips of their skull removed? Did they have to have a blood transfusion? Will they be left with a zig zag scar across their head?....Yea, didn't think so!" But, I'm not a bitch. Not all the time anyways. So, I kindly respond with a smile "oh, not really the same thing, but thank you" or "he had to have neurosurgery at 7 weeks old, this protects his head, it doesn't re-shape it". I always felt alone and like it was just me that these comments bothered. My ultimate favorite....while we were at Walmart in the greeting card isle "oh, look, he is already playing football" WHY THE HELL WOULD A 3 MONTH OLD BABY BE PLAYING FOOTBALL? Really, you stupid bitch? Are you that dumb? Anyways, all this to say that not all helmets are created equal! Nobody will ever understand or be able to relate to what a cranio baby, or their mother has gone through until they have gone through it themselves!

So, back to my angel story. I was meeting my mom, Brayden, and Christopher at Chick-Fil-A this afternoon after I returned from my OB follow-up appt. This woman and her family were walking in at the EXACT same time I was walking in with Grayson. (Incidentally, they were all dressed in red and matched each other.) Grayson was asleep in his carrier and the gentleman (her husband) held open the door for me. I thanked him and walked to the table where my mom and hubs were waiting and she walks up to me and says.....
"I don't know if I am out of line saying this, but......My daughter had cranio. She is 9 years old now. You can't even see her scar. She also had to wear a helmet, although hers wasn't decorated as cute as his is. I just want you to know that I know what you have been through. It is a hard decision to make whether or not to do the surgery. You made the right decision! He will be just fine! I just want you to know that no other mommy can relate to what we go through until they have experienced it themselves. Some people can come up to you because someone they know has had to wear a helmet in life, but they do not realize how much you both have gone through! The helmet is only a small portion of what this little tiny being has been through. I have been there."

By this point, I am in tears. I think she is reading my thoughts. How could she know that these thoughts have been mine for the past 3 months? This woman continues on for 5 minutes or so about how tough it is on the moms to watch our little precious baby go through surgery. To hand them over to the operating staff. To see them in recovery. To think that you may never get to see your child's smile again. All the thoughts that I had before, during and after the surgery was EXACTLY what she was saying! WOW, I am not alone! I finally met someone who has been there and is now on the other side. She told me that sometimes when people try to relate to us, it can stir up a beast in us because if only they knew what we went through, they would not be so quick to comment. We are in a bubble of our own, so to speak. This is not cosmetic! It is required! It can cause brain damage if not corrected. I was in total agreement with every word coming out of this lady's mouth! She told me that the mental picture of her daughter in recovery will forever be burned in her mind. (I have said that many times myself) She teared up also at the thought of it....even 9 years later. She said she was so excited to hear her daughter cry for the first time after surgery, because she was afraid she was never going to hear it again. (Something I have told Chris before also) This lady is reading my mind! She kept stressing to me that I made the right decision!

I told her that I have never met anyone locally that has been through this. I thanked her for her encouraging words through my tear filled eyes and I hugged her! Yes, a complete stranger, I hugged! (Later, I found out that my mom had asked Chris if I knew the lady because she couldn't believe I would hug a complete stranger in the lobby of Chick-Fil-A)

This lady was sent to me from God to tell me all these things. I truly believe it in my heart. It couldn't have happened on a more perfect day. Today was the day I needed to hear those words. Today has been an emotional day for me. I won't go into details, but of all the days since his surgery, today was the day that this needed to happen! Her words will forever be with me! She was my angel for the day! I don't know her name, I don't know her daughter's name. I don't know if she even lives near here! All I know is that she made me feel normal. She made me feel loved. She made me feel understood. She made me feel so overjoyed! She made me feel refreshed! Words cannot express my thanks for this beautiful woman! She will forever be in my thoughts. Thank you angel lady in red! ;-)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Remodel Update!

Our remodel is nearing an end! (Thank you Jesus, Hallelujah!) We are still waiting on the countertops to be finished, but aside from that, it is all starting to come together. I know there is not much progress from the last set of pics, but the tile has been grouted. The fireplace is finished. The refrigerator is moved to it's new location. The walls are ready to be painted. We are working on painting this weekend. Yahoo! Once the countertops are installed, just a few things left! Mostly tile backsplash and sheetrock work.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

My Little Models

JC Penney's called us to come in and "model" for them so that they could train some new photographers. I guess we were on the list of preferred customers since we are there so much. We have a favorite photographer who actually knows us by name. In addition to Christmas pictures and maternity pictures, I get my kids pictures done at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 18 months, and then at each birthday after that. We always get great pictures and they are not expensive at all if you are in their portrait club.

So, on this day I decided to take Grayson in for his 3 month pictures and I took Kaylee since she is an easy subject to photograph. She will usually pose herself and her pictures turn out so good that it's hard for me to decide which ones to buy. For allowing them to "use" the kids as models, we got a good picture package deal, along with a few freebies. I never pass up freebies!

Here are some of my favorites:

Grayson "talking"

Grayson eating his fists as usual

Grayson blowing raspberries

I decided to do a few with his helmet on since it is a part of "Grayson" at 3 months old.

LOVE LOVE LOVE this one!!

Classic Kaylee

Her own pose

Ok, so now that my shameless photo brag is over, I better get back to doing something productive. Oh wait, it's time for my TV show....that sounds much more interesting than laundry!